Video review Manuel Contreras II Especial 2010
Some information on Manuel Contreras guitar:
Manuel Contreras, born in Madrid in 1928, started his professional activity as guitar maker from the advantageous position of being a much sought after cabinet maker.
It was José Ramírez the third who in 1959, knowing of Contreras great reputation, invited him to join his guitar workshop. In three years he had developed his craft sufficiently to set up, in 1962, as an independent guitar maker in Madrid.
Although Contreras should not be considered as being a luthier opposed to tradition, his work reveals us a maker who was much more open than most of his contemporaries to new ideas and developements, what led him to work, from the early 70s, on various unusual instruments.
His first achievement, in this sense, was the design of the model “Double Top”, which Contreras presented in 1974, after a number of experiments in order to improve the tone, volume and projection of the instrument. The great acceptance this model immediately got in the professional guitar world (the first Double Tops, were closely followed during their process of construction and afterwards used by the four mythical guitarists members of the Romero family) encouraged Contreras to continue with this innovative way of working, far away from the mainstream of classical guitar design.
To this period also belongs the “Guitar-Harp”, a very elaborated model in its construction, with a design of a great beauty and a very powerful sound. As well as the “Alto-Guitar” model, a smaller instrument with a higher tuning than the conventional guitar. This instrument has been mainly sought after and appreciated, since then till nowadays, by the members of the prestigious Niibori Guitar Orchestra of Japan.